We need your help to offer a Youth Voices Summer Program that will make it possible for youth to use reading, writing, and digital media to find and explore their passions.
Summer!Fifteen students from the Bronx. A summer of connected learning that could change their lives — and change the way kids learn all across America. This summer the New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) at Lehman College, CUNY will host a Youth Voices Summer Program from July 8 through 25, 2013.
Too often in school, students are told what and how to learn. We think learning happens best when youth are given more freedom to follow their own dreams, explore and research their own questions, and publish for their peers. We have an opportunity to do just that this summer.
But we need your help. A tax-deductible contribution from you will support this program. Every contribution, no matter how small, will help make our summer happen.
Deeper Summer Learning
In the 2013 Youth Voices Summer Program, students will be guided by two experienced Writing Project teachers to use new technologies, participate in dozens of online multimedia discussions, and publish their own digital stories, poems, essays, music and videos on our social network, Youth Voices.
We will select participants through an application process, but we are not looking for the highest achieving students out there. We want students with curiosities, those who are open and playful, and who can make a commitment to some sustained work--about beats, video, and fashion, or hacking and coding, or psychology, or the environment. We want youth to develop skills they can apply to their academic lives, and the tools that will help them become active and engaged learners beyond the boundaries of school.
We've seen firsthand the results from this kind of experience -- youth empowerment, civic engagement, academic success, and sometimes new life direction.
Five teachers will learn alongside the 15 youth, conducting their own inquiries and debriefing twice a week when the students leave. Through these teachers we expect that the work we do in the Youth Voices Summer Program will reach beyond the Bronx and past July. The teachers will leave the summer with new skills in curriculum development and new ideas for how to integrate connected learning in their classrooms, thus reaching more students.
Our work will provide a blueprint that teachers around the country can use to implement connected, blended, passion-based, online learning, while at the same time making the instructional shifts we need to help students find success in the Common Core Learning Standards. We will produce a video about this work and connect our learning through the National Writing Project’s Summer of Making and Connecting.
Help Us Create this AdventureThe National Writing Project’s Educator Innovator Initiative has provided seed money to support the launch of this special summer program. These funds will offset costs for the teachers’ professional development and some aspects of video production.
We are turning to you and other friends for the additional $15,000 that is needed to support the costs of the program, so that the students can attend free of charge. We need funds for the two NYC Writing Project facilitators, instructional materials, tech support, some cameras and recorders, additional video production costs, student breakfasts, and two trips to community-based arts and science organizations that likewise promote connected learning and can deepen our students’ summer experience.
We need your support in the form of a tax-deductible contribution. No contribution is too small.
And even if you can’t contribute financially, you can help spread the word. Thank you for your help in making this dream come true.
I like youth voices a lot. What's special to me about Youth Voices is that it helps me communicate with other students. What I like most about it is that I can express the way I write to other students and they can get an idea from my writing. My work has related to the "real world" because some of my discussions are about what goes on in the "real world." --Edwin, Bronx student
What I think is special about Youth Voices is the way the website brings teens together. A lot of teens post up many different things about books, thoughts, experiences, even sometimes their feelings that they simply can’t talk about to the people in their lives. What makes this website special is the connection it gives to different students and to different teachers beyond their own classroom or even their own state. --Emely, Bronx student
Youth Voices improved my writing. And I thought, you know, that writing was something that was almost nearly impossible for me. But with Youth Voices, I changed. Feel me? --Ruth, Bronx student
Youth Voices is a terrific environment for students to explore topics of personal interest in an academic way, and to not feel judged or stupid about it. Since it is academic in nature, the website allows students to feel comfortable, as well as excited, to be sharing, commenting, and learning. The level of choice is inherent. --Amal, Bronx teacher
As you know many of our students are fixated with Facebook or YouTube, but when asked to research information on the Internet, they barely know how to maneuver to the facts and details to find credible sources and data. Youth Voices is a great motivational tool for adolescents to use to keep them on track academically, keep their interest up and explore this wonderful era of the information and technology age. I cannot think of a better way for my daughter to spend a portion of her summer. --Griffina, NYC teacher and mother
An Alternative Way to Contribute
If you prefer to use postal delivery, please send a check payable to the Lehman College Foundation for the New York City Writing Project. Please include your name, address, and email address so we can thank you and also send you a reward. Send your check to:
New York City Writing Project
Institute for Literacy Studies
Lehman College, CUNY
250 Bedford Park Blvd West
Bronx, NY 10468
Other Ways You Can Help
If we exceed our goal, we could invite more youth to participate, open participation to remote online participants, include more teachers, or expand the documentary film making part of our project. If you are not able to contribute financially, you can still help:
- Get the word out and make some noise about this project. Please share a link with your networks! Every email, tweet, and post on Facebook will help!
- Join us on Youth Voices.
- Like us on Facebook.
- Follow us on Twitter.
- Spread the word about connected learning, through these resources and our video.
- Get updates at https://www.facebook.com/youthvoices.net and leave comments there as well.
- Please use the InciteED share tools to let others know of our efforts!
Sponsors and Partners
New York City Writing Project
The New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) at Lehman College, CUNY has an enduring record of success helping youth find their voice. During summer 2013, the NYCWP continues its 35-year tradition of hosting summer institutes for teachers and students.
Lehman College Foundation
Your tax-deductible contributions will be collected by the Lehman College Foundation and managed by the NYCWP.
During the Youth
Voices Summer Program students will
use Gooru to discover topic-relevant content covering a variety of multimedia
resources, from videos and websites to interactive games and quiz questions. Gooru's mission is to honor the human right to education.
Here is a short introduction video to Gooru.
The Summer Youth Voices Program will partner
with the P2PU School of Education to provide a location for the Common Core-aligned
challenges and tasks across various subject areas. Through P2PU, Youth Voices we
will be awarding badges to students for the work they have completed there.
Thank you to all of our friends, sponsors, contributors, collaborators, and partners for your help in making this dream come true.
Project FAQAsk the Campaign Team a question
If you pledge, you will receive (click one):